Civil-Military Relations Looked at from Different Angles

Between 22 – 27 June 2012, CESS and its Turkish partners the ARI movement and TOBB-ETÜ University organized a Conference and Training Workshop within the framework of the Good Governance in Turkey programme. Both events took place in Ankara, Turkey. The subject of the two events was Civil Direction of the Military. The conference saw a turn-out of 60 people and the training reached a number of 25.

The conference started off with a session concentrating on the difference between policy and operations. What was being tried to answer is whether the two meet or contradict? When they do contradict how they can be reconciled. Following a session was aimed at case studies. During this session the speakers went into depth on the theoretical side and the practical side of civil direction of defence. They dealt, respectively, with civil-military relations in Turkey and with civil direction of the military during international peace support operations. The last session of the day was a panel discussion with six panel members. Three speakers from the Netherlands and three speakers from Turkey tried to answer questions from the audience on a wide range of issues. Finally the rapporteur gave the audience a conclusion of the day together with her own perspective on the discussed subjects.

During the training session the room was filled with students, parliamentary staffers, and NGO representatives. Our trainers tried to engage them with the matter at hand. The first day aimed at providing theoretical knowledge. This consequently was actively worked with on the second day where a role-play was conducted. During this role-play a dispute between government and military was enacted. On the last day the aim was to reconnect the knowledge obtained during the first two days. According to our trainees it has been a valuable week for them where they’d obtained knowledge and had fun working with it.

Overall it was an interesting and fruitful week in Ankara, where the conference has led to new knowledge and contacts for the participants and speakers. Especially the training has led to a true tight group which worked intensively together on improving their knowledge on civil-military relations. Hopefully they are able to find a way to incorporate their obtained knowledge in their professional life. CESS and its partners hope to continue their efforts in assisting Turkey in its democratization process and stay committed to contributing to the debate on security matters in that country. 


By using this link you will find the CESS Facebook page where you can find pictures from the conference and training

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